A Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study could lead to improved gene therapies for conditions such as heart disease and cancer as well as more effective vaccines for tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. Senior author Christopher Wiethoff, PhD, and colleagues report their findings in the October issue of the Journal of Virology. Editors spotlighted the report as one of the "articles of significant interest." Journal of Virology is the leading journal of the study of viruses. The study involved a virus that causes the common cold, called adenovirus. Scientists have been trying to use a version of this virus as a delivery vehicle for gene therapies and vaccines. (The virus is not able to reproduce and cause disease.) Administering this virus to patients causes an inflammatory reaction, which can be a double-edged sword: The reaction aids in the use of the virus in vaccines but limits its use for gene therapies.
DNA and protein sequencing have forever transformed science, medicine, and society. Understanding the structure of these complex biomolecules has revolutionized drug development, medical diagnostics, forensic science, and our understanding of evolution and development. But, one major molecule in the biological triumvirate has remained largely uncharted: carbohydrate biopolymers. Today, for the first time ever, a team of researchers led by Robert Linhardt of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has announced in the October 9 Advanced Online Publication edition of the journal Nature Chemical Biology the sequence of a complete complex carbohydrate biopolymer. The surprising discovery provides the scientific and medical communities with an important and fundamental new view of these vital biomolecules, which play a role in everything from cell structure and development to disease pathology and blood clotting.
BRCA2 Genetic Mutation Associated With Improved Survival And Chemotherapy Response In Ovarian Cancer
Among women with a certain type of high-grade ovarian cancer, having BRCA2 genetic mutations, but not BRCA1, was associated with improved overall survival and improved response to chemotherapy, compared to women with BRCA wild-type (genetic type used as a reference to compare genetic mutations), according to a study in the October 12 issue of JAMA. "Increased surveillance of BRCA1/2 germ line mutation carriers is a generally accepted strategy for detecting early ovarian cancer. Women with BRCA1 mutations have a 39 percent to 54 percent cumulative lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer and women with BRCA2 mutations have an 11 percent to 23 percent risk, " according to background information in the article. Conflicting data exist regarding the outcome of BRCA-deficient patients after ovarian cancer develops.
A genetic variant which significantly raises the risk of heart disease can be modified by eating plenty of fruit and raw vegetables so that the carrier's risk of heart disease is brought down to the same level as those without the faulty gene, researchers from McMaster and McGill universities, Canada, reported in the journal PLoS Medicine. The long-held belief that you cannot change the genes you inherited from your parents does not appear to hold true, the authors explained. The 9p21 genetic variants, the strongest marker for heart disease, were found to be modified when large quantities of raw vegetable, berries and fruit were consumed. Joint lead-researcher, Dr. Jamie Engert, said: "We know that 9p21 genetic variants increase the risk of heart disease for those that carry it. But it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken its effect.
Chromosomal microarray (CMA) a powerful test for diagnosing the genetic abnormalities causing some types of developmental delay and birth defects can be used in an evidence-based manner to provide important information for patient treatment, according to a pair of studies in the September issue of Genetics in Medicine, the official peer-reviewed journal of The American College of Medical Genetics. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. The new papers address criticisms that CMA testing, though highly accurate, doesn't alter the clinical management of affected children. "Together, the two new studies show that CMA tests are clinically important and helpful, and provide important information about how to interpret these advanced genetic tests in an evidence-based manner, " comments Jim Evans, M.